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Research Guides

Senior Seminar in Economics 5860

This guide is designed to assist students enrolled in Senior Seminar in Economics navigate appropriate economic resources.

Research assistance is available

A librarian can help...

  • You formulate your thesis statement
  • Guide you to appropriate databases
  • Suggest alternative terminology for searching
  • Recommend books, articles or websites appropriate to your topic
  • Locate data, or examples of research containing specific methodologies

Contact me or Research Assistance.


Start to formulate a research question

Use the following example to work through your own research topic:

On the general topic idea of: An economic analysis of China's greenhouse gas emissions and energy policy...

What do you know?

Brainstorm key words and ideas related to your topic of interest. A mindmap can help.

Link to this mindmap

What do you need to know?

Write down specific questions that you have about your topic. Example questions:

  • What are the main energy resources that contribute to China's greenhouse gas emissions?
  • What aspects of China's energy policy can impact greenhouse gas emissions?
  • What is input-output analysis? Is it an economic model that I can use to analyze relationships and changes over time?


How will you find out?

Sure, you can gather background information from Google searches.

For an authoritative overview, visit the Background Resources page to access encyclopedias, handbooks and dictionaries on the topic.


Develop your research question: 

Use the information that you gather to develop your research question.

Think about ways that you can make your question manageable by narrowing to:

  • a time period
  • a demographic group
  • a geographic region
  • an specific event
  • a specific policy

This video gives a quick example of revising a research question:


Use A Guide to Writing Economics to help you to revise your research question, to understand the different types of economics research papers, and to write as an economist. (Prepared by Paul Dudenhefer at Duke University)

Video created by Alexa Clark